(SportsNetwork.com) – The sliding Ottawa Senators will try to win for the
first time in five games when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins for
Saturday’s matinee clash at Consol Energy Center.
The Senators have lost four straight (0-3-1) since picking up a road win in
St. Louis on Nov. 25.
Ottawa is just 3-7-3 over its last 13 games and was recently swept by the New
York Islanders in a home-and-home series. The Sens picked up a point with an
overtime loss in the road portion but were handed a 2-1 regulation setback by
the Islanders on Thursday.
Thursday’s loss spoiled an emotional night at Canadian Tire Centre. The
Senators honored franchise icon Daniel Alfredsson, who signed a one-day
contract with the team on Thursday to officially announce his retirement,
prior to the game’s start.
Ottawa would lose the game, however, as Casey Cizikas notched the game-winner
for the Isles with 6:27 left in regulation.
“It was fun to be a part of and I think it was well done,” Senators captain
Erik Karlsson said of the ceremony. “That was the positive of the day,
obviously, we didn’t win the game.”
Ottawa mustered just 21 shots on net and Mika Zibanejad provided the only
offense for the home team when he recorded a power-play goal in the second
Craig Anderson stopped 23 shots for Ottawa. Anderson will get the start this
afternoon and is 5-4-2 with a 2.21 goals against average in his career against
Today’s tilt marks the first of three meetings between the Pens and Sens this
season. Ottawa was 2-0-1 in the 2013-14 series and has taken five of the last
nine meetings overall. Pittsburgh has won five of the past seven encounters in
the Steel City, but the Sens did record a shootout win when the clubs last met
at Consol Energy Center on April 13 of last season.
The Penguins hope to rebound from a loss after having a two-game win streak
halted in Thursday’s home shutout defeat against Vancouver. Brad Richardson
had two goals and an assist to support a 21-save effort from Eddie Lack as the
visiting Canucks recorded a 3-0 win.
Thomas Greiss finished with 28 saves for Pittsburgh, which was blanked for
only the seconalready decided.
Manu Ginobili tallied 17 points and seven assists and Danny Green added 16
points for the Spurs, who have won nine of their last 10 games. Tony Parker
chipped in 14 and Cory Joseph scored 12 off the bench. Parker left in the
third quarter left with a hamstring injury and didn’t return.
The Timberwolves dropped their fourth in a row on Friday night, a 114-112
overtime heart-breaker at home to the Houston Rockets.
Seldom-used rookie Nick Johnson muscled past fellow rookie Zach LaVine and got
a layup to go with 0.8 seconds left to give Houston the victory.
The setback also came after Minnesota became the first victim this season of
the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night at home.
“We have to live in the present,” said Wolves head coach Flip Saunders. “We
can’t worry about what happened in the past. We can’t worry about
Shabazz Muhammad led seven Wolves in double figures with 20 points, Thaddeus
Young, who came up short from the foul line in a bid to tie it, scored 19 and
Corey Brewer tallied 15 points along with team highs of seven rebounds and six
After Saturday’s tilt in Alamo City, the Timberwolves play four straight at
The Spurs beat the Wolves by 29 on Nov. 21 and have taken 22 of the last 27
meetings between the two. San Antonio has dominated Minnesota at home to the
tune of 18-1.
ORLANDO MAGIC (8-14) AT SACRAMENTO KINGS (10-9), 10 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) – The Sacramento Kings snapped a four-game losing streak
last time out and will try to build momentum on Saturday night when they play
host to the Orlando Magic at Sleep Train Arena.
The Kings were mired in a skid since DeMarcus Cousins went down with a viral
infection. They overcame his absence on Friday night with a 102-101 overtime
home victory over the Indiana Pacers.
With Cousins gone for the fourth straight game (he will also sit on Saturday,
too), Carl Landry’s go-ahead layup with 0.8 seconds left in overtime lifted
the Kings to the win.
Sacramento led by as many as 17 in regulation, but the Pacers closed the
fourth on a 10-2 run to force the extra session and a C.J. Watson 3-pointer
preceded his floater in the paint to stake Indiana to a 101-100 edge with 1:03
remaining in overtime.
After Darren Collison and David West traded missed jumpers, Rudy Gay took the
clock down and rose up for a contested jumper along the right baseline. Landry
hauled in the misfire for an offensive rebound and laid the ball in to put the
Kings in front.
West’s desperation turnaround heave at the horn ricocheted off the backboard.
It snapped an 0-16 mark for the Kings without their star big man.
Gay netted 27 points, while Collison added 20 points, six rebounds, six
assists and four steals for Sacramento.
“We did have some struggles coming down the stretch but at the end of the day
when we’re on a losing streak like we were, you’re just trying to get a win
any way you can,” said Collison. “It wasn’t pretty at the end but we were able
to gut it out and find a way to win.”
The Magic put the brakes on a two-game slide with a 98-93 win Friday night in
Utah to improve to 2-3 on a six-game road trip that ends Saturday.
Tobias Harris had 22 points and seven rebounds to lead the Magic. Victor
Oladipo posted 20 points and six assists for Orlando, which had dropped six of
its last seven games entering Friday.
“They were searching for a win and we were also, so it boiled down to us
playing together and being extremely tough down the stretch,” Magic coach
Jacque Vaughn said.
Orlando starting center Nik Vucevic didn’t play due to back spasms. The Magic
had dropped seven straight and were 5-27 without Vucevic in their lineup.
The Kings have won four straight against the Magic, who are 5-3 in their last
eight in California’s capital city.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS (8-9) AT LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (13-5), 10:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) – The Los Angeles Clippers will take their six-game
winning streak into Saturday night’s matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans at
The Clips haven’t fallen since Nov. 23 in Memphis and have won eight of their
last nine. This is game three of a four-game homestand and LA has knocked off
the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic so far on this stay.
On Wednesday, the Clippers throttled the Magic, 114-86. They won all four
quarters, shot 53.8 percent and out-rebounded Orlando, 44-34.
Blake Griffin had 21 points, eight rebounds and dished out six assists for the
Clippers, who have only won two in a row at home. J.J. Redick made four 3-
pointers en route to 20 points, Chris Paul tallied 19 points and 10 assists
and Matt Barnes scored 17 points.
DeAndre Jordan only finished with eight points, but pulled down 16 rebounds.
“We’re doing a better job of executing,” said Griffin. “We are becoming more
and more comfortable with who we are.”
The Clippers will host the Phoenix Suns on Monday, then head east for games
against the Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks.
The Pelicans have been struggling a bit. They’ve dropped four of their last
five and fell back into the loss column Thursday night after a win on Tuesday
in Kevin Durant’s return to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On Thursday, New Orleans joined a long list of losers against the Golden State
Warriors. The Pelicans became the 11th consecutive victim for the Warriors and
fell, 112-85, at Oracle Arena.
Anthony Davis had 30 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Pelicans, who have
lost three straight on the road.
Dante Cunningham scored two points in 12 minutes off the bench for New Orleans
after being signed earlier in the day.
Cunningham played the past two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves but was
without a team since a domestic assault charge against him was dropped this
Jrue Holiday finished with 12 points and Tyreke Evans added 11, but the
starting backcourt shot 9-for-30 in the loss to the Warriors. The team shot
41.6 percent from the floor and 20 percent from long range.
Davis scored 11 points in the first quarter and the Pelicans led by as many as
eight, but Golden State took the lead for good with a 12-0 run early in the
second led by Leandro Barbosa and Marreese Speights.
“We just drifted,” said Pelicans head coach Monty Williams. “We did not
continue the team basketball that we had played last game and in the first
The Pelicans wrap up their three-game western trip against the Los Angeles
Lakers on Sunday.
New Orleans beat the Clippers on March 26 to stem a six-game losing streak in
the series. Los Angeles has won three straight as the host against the
Pelicans and six of the last seven.